2 strategies to nail home/work style: which is yours.

2 strategies to nail home/work style: which is yours?

In the last blog post on Home/work balance I mentioned two strategies that will help you decide how to balance your wardrobe.  With the rise in working from home, and the hybrid work solution towards which many businesses are moving, our lives need to adjust as well, especially in the area of what you wear and why you wear it.

This is why Working Frocks has created two strategies for you to use in your life when you are considering what to wear and when to wear it.  It is entirely up to you to choose which one of the two best suits your lifestyle and we have some tips below as to how to implement the strategies to make them work really well in your life.

Read more2 strategies to nail home/work style: which is yours.

How to pick the right outfits and perfect your home/work balance

How to pick the right outfits and perfect your home/work balance

Don’t you think it’s rather funny that after all these years of female empowerment and emancipation we still don’t think we have the right clothes or that we have nothing to wear at all!?

Your clothes should be a strategic part of your life.  They should play an active role in running your life efficiently and well.

With all the ups and downs of the last 18 months no doubt you will have experienced lockdown and working from home in some shape or form.

What did you wear when you started to work from home?

Read moreHow to pick the right outfits and perfect your home/work balance

Getting it all done

Getting it all done – No time to carve out for yourself and even if you did carve out time for yourself you wouldn’t know what to do.  Recognise that scenario?

Getting it all done.  Words to stricke both optimsm and terror into the heart of every busy woman.

What is getting it all done?

What does getting it all done mean to you?  Is it the todo list you have at work which is your boss’s agenda, your team’s needs and your organisation’s strategy?

Is it your family’s needs – endless!

Or is it your own needs?  Is that what getting it all done means to you?  Does it include your own needs?

Likely it’s not the third option.  Getting it all done means, for most women, “getting everything done that other people require of me”.

The first two options never resolve themselves.  They are not goals which you have set yourself.  There are always more demands to be placed upon you.  It’s impossible to get it all done.  There is always more. Work life is just a series of problem solving situations, coming straight at you, one after the other.  Even the traditional signs of seniority, such as being promoted, which is a traditional sign of workplace success, generally bring with it more responsibility, more people to manage, more things to get done.

We know we are not prioritising ourself

Deep down we all know that we are not prioritising ourselves.  We think it doesn’t matter today.  If we can just tick of our todo list at work and get through our chore list at home, then that wil be enough.  Tomorrow we can prioritse ourselves.  We can go for a walk, go to the gym, read a book.

In fact, as we all know, tomorrow doesn’t come, without us being really intentional about it.

When tomorrow never comes you may be left feeling strangely unfulfilled.  You may have a slightly anxious feel in your stomach.

When tomorrow never comes and you don’t prioritise yourself, you push desires, amibitions, interest and hobbies out of the way.  You start to live out of integrity with yourself.  That might be when you start to drink just a little bit more than you would like, smoke more than you want or maybe eat too much, in order to cope.

Then you have another layer of getting it all done to get done.  Yu now have weight to lose, or drink to stop, or cigarettes to quit.

Why is this going on and what are we doing to ourselves?

What is going on is this:

Because you can’t cope with the emotions that are coming up, you try and numb them so that you don’t feel them.  When you numb them, you temporarily feel better, but only temporarily.  Your situation hasn’t changed, so you are no more happy than you were before.  But you have temporarily alleviated the problem, the anxiety or stress has gone away, or seemingly gone away.

But then the next time that you feel stressed, exhausted, negative, teary or angry you reach out for the thing that will ‘make you feel better’.  The wine, the G&T, the cigarettes, the burger and chips. So the habit develops and sooner or later you start to put on weight.  And you don’t fit into your clothes.  And then you start to feel rubbish about yourself.  Undeserving even.

The link between clothes and emotions

In my work as a dress designer and online stylist, I began to see the link between women not living their fullest life and not wearing clothes that made them look their best.

If you feel good about yourself you most probably take care of yourself, your body and take an interest in what you wear.  If you don’t feel good about yourself, you don’t take care of yourself, so you don’t look good, which means you don’t feel good, and so you develop a negative cycle which can become hard to break.

Develop a clothing strategy and break negative thought cycles

Developing a clothing strategy breaks negative thought cycles.  Clothing strategies are designed to encourage you to look and feel your best every day.  They take in to account your likes and dislikes, your lifestyle and your wishes or plans for the future.

In designing a clothing strategy for you I can take you right back to the place where you are in touch with the inner you, and you have a  todo list, or rather a to be list that contains items that you want in there.  Even though it might sound too good to be true, you can use the power of clothes to put you back at the centre of your own life.

Back to getting it all done – You don’t know where to start

For many of us the problem is slightly deeper than knowing that we are not prioritising ourselves.  It is that even if we did put time aside for ourselves, we wouldn’t actually know what to do with that time.  We have lost touch with ourselves to the extent that, given an opportunity to do something that makes our heart sing, we just wouldn’t know what to do.

Inner emotions and outer appearance go hand in hand, for the most part, if you have a healthy self esteem and feel good about yourself.  What I have discovered over the last few years is that as I start to address the outer appearance, by designing a dress and selling my clothes, by writing about how to dress well, what I am often really talking about are issues of image, of identity, of authority, of power.

Quite often, when you say you have nothing to wear, or have an untidy, disorganised wardrobe, it is in fact a symption, not the illness itself.  A cluttered wardrobe full of too small clothes, or clothes that you don’t wear, is actually a sign of something else. By addressing that something else I can help women like you achieve their goals and life life on their own terms.  It’s a way of getting started, it’s like it flips the switch of your life and gets you right back into the swing of things.

It is very exciting to know that with a small investment of time you can feel better about yours life than you could have thought.

Not getting it all done – How to carve out time for yourself

Here are some great ways to get started in carving out time for yourself, sticking to it, and repeating it on a regular basis.  In amongst all the “todos” that you have that constitute your ‘getting it all done list’ try and slip some of these ideas into your day:

  1. Spend 10-15 minutes thinking about what you would like to do.  It doesn’t have to be big and dramatic, it can be really small and potentially insignificant to other people.  But to you, it’s worthwhile because you actually want to do it.
  2. Find time in your diary for whatever it is
  3. Make it a regular part of your routine – anything that is regular becomes much easier to actually do.
  4. Learn to discern between what you would really like to do and what others might want you to do, or expect you to do.
  5. Regularly stop and ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing.  Is it out of the expectations of others or because you geniunely want to do it?
  6. Stop wearing clothes you don’t like or which don’t fit, or which make you feel uncomfortable.
  7. Start to identify what you are not doing because you are worried what people might say (this was a biggy for me).  Go and do it.

By becoming aware of your actions and your thoughts you can make a start in learning to put yourself and your emotions back at the heart of your life.

What are you going to make a start with today?

 

You don’t need a gazillion clothes to look fantastically amazing

You don't need a gazillion clothes to look fantastically amazing every day - Working Frocks

You just don’t need loads of clothes to look amazingly awesome every day.  I think deep down you know that.  But each time you panic buy or buy something you don’t need or don’t like you are adding to this great pile of clothes in your wardrobe that you really don’t need.  You need very few clothes to look and feel great every day.  Read on for the shortest list of clothes, it’s almost a mini capsule collection, that will give you maximum wear and style for your clothes.

Read moreYou don’t need a gazillion clothes to look fantastically amazing

5 ways to wear a black top in summer

5 ways to wear a black top this summer

There’s a thrill that comes with the seasons changing and being able to wear a completely new set of clothes.  But often women need clothes that will straddle the seasons.  Multi-wear, or flexi-wear, clothing is on the rise: clothes that cross-seasons, events, and styles.  We are right behind this at Working Frocks.  We believe your clothes need to go to work and earn their place in your wardrobes.  Our draped black top will easily earn its place in no time.  Here are five ways you can wear our black draped top in summer.

Read more5 ways to wear a black top in summer

French capsule collection style guide

French Capsule Wardrobe Collection Style Guide

How to create your own French capsule collection with just 7 items

Once upon a time, when life was simpler, women didn’t own many clothes.  Before the era of mass manufacturing clothes were much more expensive than they are today (relative to salary and cost of living).

Now we live in a time where clothes are not only cheaper, but span all price ranges, fast fashion is part of the shopping landscape.  Our wardrobes are consequently bursting at the seams [pun intended!].  We have clothes that we don’t fit into, don’t like, have never worn, can’t find, and can’t see because our clothes are packed in like sardines and could potentially stand up on their own.

Is it any surprise then that interest in capsule wardrobes: that is a collection of clothes to wear with a restricted number of garments – seems to be at an all-tie high.  There is an appeal to simplifying our life, of accepting, quite consciously, a life of less.

Read moreFrench capsule collection style guide

Black relaxed dress

Some dresses are so unassuming and yet they become a core part of a woman’s wardrobe.  Our black relaxed dress is exactly that.  It has a relaxed shape, it’s not sleek and sophisticated but it is easy to wear and versatile.  Its relaxed vibe is the epitome of French chic.  Team it with trainers and an oversized bag or pair it with a gold pair of ballerina flatties, a scarf and an over-sized cardigan.  Pop a longsleeved black tee underneath on cooler days.  It’s lightweight enough to wear even into the early summer months.  We love black dresses with alight sun tan on the skin and a pair of sandals or wedge espadrilles. 

Read moreBlack relaxed dress

Black sheer top – French capsule wardrobe

Black sheer top - French capsule wardrobe

Something I’ve noticed about French women is that they will wear something unexpected.  And that “unexpected” item (to me, not to them of course!) brings their outfit alive.  French women “do” traditional really well, bu they also break the rules really well too.  When they do break the rules it reveals them as really women, as playful women, as women who are mature enough to know the value of play.  And so it is with this top.  It’s the unexpected black top.  It’s not the black tee shirt that you might expect to be peeking out from a work jacket, or a subtle blouse paired with a pencil skirt.  It’s a sheer, chiffon top.  And it’s great fun!

Our sheer black top is sewn with beautiful french seams.

The neck armholes and hem are edged with bias binding.

The bias binding hems are hand finished so no seams are visible from the outside.

The black sheer top stops your wardrobe from becoming too boring.  Work clothes, and clothes in general, can become boring, if we don’t pay enough attention to them.  Like anything really.  The black sheer top is the show stopper that’s easy to wear, doesn’t require any effort to wear and therefore you’ll want to wear it again and again.

Black sheer top - French capsule wardrobe

Wearing the unexpected is a great French style trait, and one that we are delighted to pass on to you.  Our top is beautifully made with great attention to detail.  Its uniqueness partly lies in the fact that is is available exclusively at Working Frocks and partly in the fact that you will know to wear it in an unexpected way: under a suit; with a skirt for work; during the day rather than saving it for evening wear.

We all need a few items in our wardrobe that lift our clothes above the pedestrian, mundane and every day.  However we don’t want those clothes to be too challenging to wear, too tight-fitting, too fiddly to put on, or we will never wear them.  The sheer black top is really easy to wear, simply pull it on over your head, it doesn’t have any fastenings.

This is the perfect day to evening garment.  Wear it to work and then straight out in the evening.  It can be worn in all seasons and the classic black colour means you can wear it for all events.

Our black sheer top is paired with out black pencil skirt.  However you can easily wear it with informal clothes: jeans; an informal skirt.  Or you can glam it up: wear it with sharp black trousers or silk palazzo pants.  Our black sheer top is a chameleon and will fit right in! Downplay it to work with a cardigan, swop the cardigan for a jacket or coat and your evening is waiting for you!  Busy working women, young professionals working long hours and going straight out in the evening, CEOs in meetings all day and then meeting up with the husband for date night at the theatre will all find space for a black sheer top in their wardrobe, so check ours out here!

Our black sheer top is edged with hand made bias binding, at the neck, armhole and hem edge.  Sewn with elegant French seams and unlined which gives it its sheer status our black sheer top is a beautifully designed and made garment.  A small piece of everyday luxury in your wardrobe.

Shop the collection here:

Black sheer top

Simple white top

Black jersey pencil skirt

Black mini shift dress

Black easy dress

Black jacket

Black mini shift dress – French capsule collection

Black mini shift dress image - Working Frocks

 

Our chic, black mini-sift dress is the epitome of French chic: simple, sexy, stylish and sophisticated.  If you only have one daring little black dress in your wardrobe, make it this one.  It’s super mini, so not for the faint of heart, but is has great versatility and we think you’re guaranteed to have fun when wearing it.

Our short, mini shift dress is created in black satin-backed crepe.

The dress is fully lined with a concealed zip to the back.

The black mini shift dress is a wardrobe staple that just won’t go out of fashion or style.  It will sit patiently in your closet waiting for the evening when you sigh, “I have nothing to wear”.  The black mini shift dress is your go-to item.  It’s not the most exciting item in your wardrobe but it is one of the most reliable.

Read moreBlack mini shift dress – French capsule collection

Black Pencil skirt – Why you need one

image of a black pencil skirt and a sheer black top - Working Frocks

The French capsule wardrobe has been in the planning stage for a while now.  There were some items which have been left out because they are not currently a priority for Workings to make, for example a trench coat, or a black leather jacket.  We wanted to limit the number of items, but  the pencil skirt is an obvious choice to include and definitely makes the top seven items which we want to include.  It is so simple, sexy and chic while at the same time extremely sophisticate and grown up.

Our black, on the knee, pencil skirt is cut in a spotted jersey fabric.

It’s machine washable, and easy to wear.

It has a hand finished hem and patch pocket detail.

The black pencil skirt should be a perennial item in your wardrobe.  If not black, then a classic weave like houndstooth, or a plain camel colour or a pencil skirt in a neutral colour such as bronze silk, would be great.  The pencil skirt’s superpower is it’s ability to blend seamlessly into many different outfit combinations.  Like the great friend who you can invite anywhere and will sit next to anyone, the black pencil skirt is a true, reliable piece of clothing friend.

Our pencil skirt is made in versatile black jersey with a stretch making it super-easy to wear and super-smart to wear.  Our pencil skirt is cut to the knee, making it easy to wear and to walk in.  It’s form-fitting, but you’re going to be able to run in it.  It has small details that give it a unique look a hand-finished hem and patch pockets.  In short, it’s a simple garment, beautifully made.

The black pencil skirt is designed to fit perfectly into your work wardrobe whether you are working from home or chairing boardroom meetings.  The flexibility and versatility of our black pencil skirt will keep you company and not let you down.

image of a black pencil skirt and a sheer black top - Working Frocks

The Working Frocks black pencil skirt is generously cut and guaranteed to fit most standard sizes.  It suits nearly all female body shapes, even pear shapes, who traditionally need a fluted a-line silhouette.  The reason it suits so many body shapes is its proportions.  From the total length of the skirt, to the width of the hem, to the waist size, all measurements are designed to make the black pencil skirt be as flattering as possible on your own body shape.

The black pencil skirt can be worn with a black jacket and black lace top and will take you out for a smart lunch.  Wear it with a casual tee shirt, boots and a gilet for a casual afternoon look.  Pair it with our simple white top for an effortlessly chic, soignée look that can take you from a brasserie lunch with girlfriends, to an afternoon business meeting and onto drinks and dinner à deux.

The black pencil skirt crosses all boundaries – from 18 to 80, women are going to look great in this skirt.  Part-time working mothers, or women who’s careers are in full flow and they are giving every moment of their day are both going to find this a welcome addition to their wardrobe.

Designed and made with a concealed zip at the back, no waist band (but an inner facing), patch pockets and a hand finished hem.

As part of the French capsule collection you might also be interested in:

Simple white top

 

 

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